An Eventful Journey27th October 2006
Getting from Macclesfield to Stockport, they’re only 10 miles apart, should be a straightforward affair. On Virgin trains, the journey is 10-15 minutes long and takes 20 minutes on the stopping local Northern train service. In addition, there are hourly buses operating daytime on weekdays with just three services each way on Sundays. Buses take 60 minutes to reach their destination so most use the more frequent trains.
However, when I headed into Stockport for a new laser printer one night last week, the journey by train took 45 minutes. The reason is that I had the misfortune to catch a failing train; it was already an hour late. Around a mile north of Macclesfield station, the Virgin Pendolino from London Euston came to a halt just as the train manager was telling us that Stockport was only 10 minutes away. Thankfully, we were not in a tunnel at the time. 30 minutes of the train driver’s tinkering followed, including the “resetting” of the train. That mean turning thing completely off and back on. Lights went out and doors stopped operating: I was thinking of the consequences if this went wrong. I suspect that windows would have to be broken with emergency hammers for us all to make an exit. Happily, this did not prove necessary as the “resetting” resolved the problem and we were on our way. And I did get my printer but train times were completely thrown out for the rest of the evening. The sight of pairs Manchester-London and London-Manchester trains leaving Stockport was odd, to say the least.